It's a tough school, but someone's got to go there.

And this year, a record 206 hard knock #Snooker players are battling it out to win 12 tour cards for the World Snooker tour as they do battle on the baize in Preston.

Since 2011, QSchool has seen less than 60 (not including QSchool Orders of Merit) players qualifying for the tour.

In that year it first started, there were more than 100 players who entered; this year six years on, there are now double that entry number with there being at least a 66% increase in entries between those six years.

Last year saw some 180 odd players decide to compete for the chance to fulfill their dream and compete against the likes of #Mark Selby et al, which has seen an 11% increase on last year's tally.

Advertisements
Advertisements

Watch what Mark Selby has to say on Qschool...

The numbers suggest that there are even more - waiting in the wings - ready to chance their hat in the ring of fire, - it's a tough school with players competing against ex-pros, heavyweights of yesteryear and up and coming youngsters who each have the desire and determination to play snooker on the World stage, and, of course, earn money whilst doing it.

Snooker QSchoolers - six years on

Of course, back in 2011, David Grace, a recent winner in Vienna, was one of the first QSchoolers to qualify for the tour. Six years on, he was at the Crucible. Making his debut and shooting up to the highest ranking of 44.

Robin Hull, six years on has won the Shootout in 2016, and, of course, was this year, involved in that great World Championship qualifying match at #Ponds Forge, with Reanne Evans, who managed to outwit the Finnish cueman in a best of 19 frame affair.

Advertisements

And Stuart Carrington, another of the top cueists to have emerged from the QSchool brigade of 2011, also had a great run at the World Championships this year, as he beat the Welsh potting machine Mark Williams in the final qualifying round at Ponds Forge, and went onto make his second visit to the Crucible a historic one as he became the fifth player to make three consecutive tons in a match - after the likes of Ronnie O'Sullivan, John Higgins, but lost to Liang Wenbo in the first round.

Surprisingly, though, although there is a BOOM in China with the game and the millions of Chinese players, those who qualify from the Asias, are not too many. In 2011, only two Chinese qualified from Events one and two. In 2016, last year, there were two.

Of course, there are other events where Chinese players manage to bag themselves a tour card, but from the QSchool, the number is limited.

Interestingly, the Canadian Amateur Snooker Championships began this week as well in Toronto, but Canada has yet to field a successful qualifying cueist with entry in QSchool.

Advertisements

That tournament is the only one where Cliff Thorburn, who won it six times, went on to become World Snooker Champion 1980 and the first overseas player from outside the UK. Aussie Neil Robertson was the second in 2010, but China has yet to field the third, it could well be Ding Junhui who graces that honour.

Last year's winner in the Canadian Championships was Rodney Cuillierier.

Qschool gets all wrapped up by the 20th May.